Introduction – Attractions, Activities & Events
The New Forest’s unique way of life, natural landscape, biodiversity and cultural heritage are the key attractions for our millions of annual visitors. This, coupled with a now global awareness of everyone’s net zero responsibilities, means our visitors expect us to deliver services of the same special standard. In 2007 the New Forest won the World Responsible Tourism Awards winning both Best Destination and Best Personal Contribution with the first iteration of the New Forest Green Leaf Tourism Business Scheme (GLTBS).
We have now refreshed, updated and improved the scheme so every GNF member business can start or continue their journey towards delivering a responsible, net zero business operation. In so doing, members will help deliver a credible collective strategy with the aim of making the New Forest the UK’s greenest destination.
There are many existing national and international schemes which might assist a business with these aims, but we believe it is particularly important we create a locally focussed, easy access and uniquely New Forest approach whilst cherry picking from other schemes. Our view is it is important for 100% of our member businesses to achieve at least 10% more towards responsible and net zero operational behaviour rather than 10% doing 100% more.
Once a member business achieves the standard set by GLTBS we are aligning the scheme with the international B Corp certification process to help them move towards A fully audited sustainability/net zero business model. It is therefore very encouraging that our destination can already boast at least two GNF Members (Green Hill Farm Holiday Village & New Forest Escapes) which have already achieved B Corp status.
We hope the GLTBS process will bring forward a growing number of similar New Forest business champions and ambassadors who can help support the destination’s wider journey to fully responsible, net zero operational behaviour by all local businesses.
Getting started is a daunting and complex business proposition. That’s why we’ve kept the GLTBS checklist as simple as possible. That doesn’t mean we are ducking the more demanding challenges that lay ahead, but more, we are preparing businesses to engage fully in reducing their negative impacts and where possible enhance their social and environmental outputs.
Whether your business achieves bronze, silver or gold on completion of the GLTBS checklist, it will be available for guests to read via your product page on www.thenewforest.co.uk . Your product page will be live on receipt of your GLTBS certificate. The scheme will be formally launched on Earth Day (22 April) and be at the heart of all our destination marketing, promotional and PR activities from then onwards.
Tips, additional information and group purchasing
We will continue to develop useful links and background information to help you better understand how you can improve your performance. We will be constantly adding to the support and development and provide members with regular updates. We will also use GNF’s Members Facebook Page to enable and encourage the sharing of ideas and solutions in how we can all work towards making the New Forest the UK’s most responsible destination
We will be including all GNF Corporate Members who provide a relevant service in the support section, so please let us know of any further links or sources of relevant support and insight. We are also already negotiating with suppliers of renewable energy and other services and develop group purchasing to reduce the individual cost and create extra benefits of developing GLTBS.
Net zero means not adding to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Achieving it means reducing emissions as much as possible, and balancing out any that remain by removing an equivalent amount. When we burn oil, gas & coal Greenhouse gases (CO2 etc) are released causing global warming by trapping the sun’s energy. The 2015 Paris Agreement (197 countries) to keep temperature rises “well below” 1.5C to avoid the worst climate change impacts, means net zero must be reached by 2050.
A net zero strategy has 2 elements: a reductions pathway & a removals pathway. The New Forest Green Leaf Tourism Business Scheme seeks to support and assist GNF members deliver these pathways in parallel but with the priority on reductions first. This pathway defines the rate of decarbonisation in line with science-based trajectories. The removals pathway provides further mitigation to neutralise unavoidable residual emissions where reductions aren’t sufficient to meet Paris Agreement climate goals.
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